HomepageISTEEdSurge
Skip to content
ascd logo

Log in to Witsby: ASCD’s Next-Generation Professional Learning and Credentialing Platform
Join ASCD
December 1, 2019
Vol. 77
No. 4

Research Alert / How Principals Can Help or Obstruct ELLs

author avatar

    EquityLeadership
    Advisory - EL Dec. 2019
      Principals are often unaware of their impact on the academic trajectory of English learners, according to a new study. Through the reclassification process, which occurs when a student is deemed proficient in English and no longer receives ELL services, principals have the power to both "enable and obstruct" students' access to an equitable education. Exited too early from an ELL program, students won't have access to the specialized services they need. Exited too late, they might miss out on advanced courses, select teachers, and the chance to interact with English-speaking peers.
      The study, which looked at eight elementary schools across four school districts in Texas, found that principals wield the most influence in three areas: setting the agenda of the reclassification meeting, selecting the data that will be prioritized (or ignored), and guiding the way policy is implemented.
      The study's authors observe that principals with a deep understanding of state and federal policy tended to follow the "spirit of the law," using it in a transformative way (rather than a technical way that puts compliance before students' needs). These leaders acted by "making sense of and implementing policies with the collective interests of marginalized groups in mind." For one principal, that meant reclassifying students who were given unnecessary (and unused) linguistic accommodations—accommodations that would have technically disqualified them from exiting ELL services under a new state policy.
      In addition, equity-focused principals took an asset-based approach to their students during reclassification and went out of their way to allocate ample time and resources to facilitate the decision-making process.

      Source - Research Alert / How Principals Can Help or Obstruct ELLs

      Source: Mavrogordato, M. & White, R. (2019, January 28). Leveraging policy implementation for social justice: How school leaders shape educational opportunity when implementing policy for English learners. Educational Administration Quarterly.

       

      Sarah McKibben is the editor in chief of Educational Leadership magazine.

      Learn More

      ASCD is a community dedicated to educators' professional growth and well-being.

      Let us help you put your vision into action.
      Related Articles
      View all
      undefined
      Equity
      How Leaders Can Support Culturally Responsive Instruction
      Andrea Terrero Gabbadon
      3 weeks ago

      undefined
      Teaching Beyond the Single Story of STEM
      Tesha Sengupta-Irving & Thomas Philip
      2 months ago

      undefined
      Why Physical “Space” Matters
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      undefined
      The Vital Role of Joy for Educators
      Kimberly Tsai Cawkwell
      3 months ago

      undefined
      How Can Schools Support Gender-Diverse Students’ Well-Being?
      Sarah Miles & Samantha T. Selby et al.
      4 months ago
      Related Articles
      How Leaders Can Support Culturally Responsive Instruction
      Andrea Terrero Gabbadon
      3 weeks ago

      Teaching Beyond the Single Story of STEM
      Tesha Sengupta-Irving & Thomas Philip
      2 months ago

      Why Physical “Space” Matters
      Kate Stoltzfus
      2 months ago

      The Vital Role of Joy for Educators
      Kimberly Tsai Cawkwell
      3 months ago

      How Can Schools Support Gender-Diverse Students’ Well-Being?
      Sarah Miles & Samantha T. Selby et al.
      4 months ago
      From our issue
      Product cover image 120039b.jpg
      Building Bridges for ELLs
      Go To Publication